Bortles had surgery on his right wrist Jan. 26 and signed a three-year, $54 million extension less than a month later. He's been working out in California, preparing for the start of Jacksonville's offseason program in mid-April. In addition to the contract extension, the Jaguars have displayed confidence in their starter by opting not to bring in any veteran competition in free agency. The team does need to find a new backup, as Chad Henne signed with the Chiefs.
Bortles (wrist), who agreed to a three-year, $54 million contract extension with the Jaguars on Saturday, said he expects to receive full clearance for full activities by early March, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com reports.
With his new contract locking him in as the Jaguars' starting quarterback for at least the 2018 campaign, Bortles will turn his focus to getting 100 percent healthy for the start of Jacksonville's offseason program in April. Bortles appeared on the Jaguars' injury report throughout the season while managing the right wrist issue, but didn't miss any action due to the injury, starting all 19 of the Jaguars' regular-season and playoff outings. After undergoing minor surgery to address the matter Jan. 26, Bortles spent the past month rehabbing before heading to California this weekend to begin a limited throwing program. He's expected to remain out west for the next two weeks before being reevaluated by Jacksonville's team doctors prior to Organized Team Activities.
Bortles was slated to earn $19 million in 2018 after the Jaguars picked up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, but the team opted to lock him up through 2020 with a new three-year deal worth $54 million, with $26.5 million guaranteed according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The 25-year-old was expected to remain in Jacksonville and the new deal confirms it, but the guaranteed money does limit the team's long-term commitment.
Bortles, who underwent surgery on his right wrist last Friday, is expected to be the Jaguars' starting quarterback in 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. "To my understanding, Blake Bortles is their quarterback, so no, this [the procedure] shouldn't affect him at all [next season]," Rapoport said.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Bortles dealt with an issue in the wrist of his throwing hand since December of 2016, but it didn't stop him from committing the fewest turnovers (16) in a given season in his career to date. Expected to make a full recovery, there remains some murkiness surrounding Bortles' status for the upcoming campaign, primarily related to the Jaguars' willingness to pay his fifth-year option worth nearly $19.1 million. The salary will kick in on March 14, but upon hearing Rapoport speak of the situation, the organization seems willing to see how Bortles operates for another year on a veritable prove-it deal. If Bortles stays put, the biggest question mark will be the pass catchers at his disposal, as Allen Robinson (knee) and Marqise Lee are both unrestricted free agents.
Bortles, who underwent surgery on his right wrist last week, may not be fully healthy by the time the new league year opens March 14, which would prevent the Jaguars from cutting him, Cole Pepper of News4Jax.com reports.
Bortles' fifth-year option pays $19 million for 2018, but it's unclear if the Jaguars are eager to bring him back at that cost, given the shortcomings he's shown since entering the league. Though Bortles was able to shepherd the Jaguars to the AFC championship game in 2017, the team found success largely on the strength of its defense and Leonard Fournette-led running attack rather than the passing game. Jaguars executives Tom Coughlin and Dave Caldwell will likely take the next month to determine if the other options at quarterback available to the team via free agency or the draft would represent an upgrade over Bortles, whose offseason procedure could allow him to maintain a spot on the roster even if the team brings in a new starting signal caller.
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